Upcycle, Funcycle, and Recycle Old Socks with These Awesome Ideas

Upcycle, Funcycle, and Recycle Old Socks with These Awesome Ideas

Do you have a collection of odd, worn, or holey socks in your home? If so, you’re not alone. Most households acquire their fair share of useless socks, and while they aren’t good to wear or donate anymore, worn-out sock are still useful to have around. If you have a growing collection but are reluctant to throw them away, consider these creative ways to upcycle, funcycle, and recycle old socks.

The Classic Sock Puppet

The funny face that appears when you wear socks on your hands has entertained many children. My kids use permanent markers to add facial features. A hole in the toe is a bonus opportunity for extra googly eyes.

Using an oddball sock in your kids' playtime is one of the best ways to recycle old socks.

Funcycle your sock puppet with felt shapes, paper, and glue to create an even more intricate and customized creature. Sock puppets are one of the many toys you can make from recycled household materials.

Padding for Packing or Storage

Whether you’re trying to protect delicate Christmas ornaments or keeping all your tennis or golf balls in one place, the right size sock is the perfect solution for some of those smaller things that end up lost if they aren’t contained. When you’re moving, having a whole collection of protective sheaths for valuables might be a lifesaver.

Upcycled Sock Dryer Ball

Rather than buying dryer sheets or wool dryer balls, try rolling up a clean sock and adding your favorite essential oils for a DIY dryer ball. Put the scented sock ball inside another clean sock, and tie it shut. Then toss it in the dryer with a wet load of laundry. Your nose and your wallet will thank you for this creative solution.

Ties for Garden Plants

When you need to tie back plants or train them up a trellis or pole, a collection of old socks provides the perfect strong, stretchy material to cut up for plant ties. You can even put your cut up sock ties inside another old sock and hang it on a nail in your garden shed for easy access.

Cleaning Rags and Wipes

Another great way to recycle old socks is to throw them in a ragbag or drawer. The next time you have a dirty project or need a rag you don’t care about to clean a nasty mess, grab your old socks. They’re super absorbent, and you don’t have to worry about staining your nice dishcloths or washcloths.

Sock Soap Pouch

Put a bar of soap inside an old sock, and tie it shut. Then hang it out in your mudroom or by whatever sink you use to clean up from gardening or working outside. The texture of the sock will help clean dirt from your hands, and the material makes your soap lathering better and prevents it from slipping through your fingers. This is a great way to recycle old socks in your home.

DIY Aromatherapy Rice Warmer

Fill a sock with rice and a few drops of your favorite soothing essential oils blend. Toss it in the microwave for a few minutes to create an instant heating pad for sore muscles and therapeutic relaxation. You can sew the sock opening shut or just knot the end and use it over and over again. Alternately, store it in the freezer for use as a natural homemade boo-boo pack.

Reusable Cloth Wipes

Many waste conscious families turn to reusable cloth diapers and wipes for their babies instead of the convenient disposable varieties. Cloth diapering has come a long way in the last few decades, and the use of cloth wipes makes it an economical and financial benefit to your family. Upcycling clothing like this is more than just fun—it’s economical and sustainable, too.

The Timeless Sock Bun

Give your daughter a new favorite hairstyle with the classic, ridiculously simple sock bun.

Using an oddball sock in your kids' hairstyles is one of the best ways to recycle old socks.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create your own celebrity look from (you guessed it) old socks.

Using an oddball sock in your kids' hairstyles is one of the best ways to recycle old socks.

Take some time to look around your house and determine some uses for your old socks. Diminishing your family’s carbon footprint is easy if you’re intentional about reusing materials instead of trashing them. And if saving the planet can also save you money and improve your home’s functionality and your quality of life, why not?

And when you do come up with a special sock idea, share it with us on Twitter.

Image sources: Pexels | Bethany Johnson

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.

Resourcefulness just plain feels good. So when you're staring at that ever-growing pile of oddball socks, get creative and put that fabric to use. You'll be glad you did as you reduce waste and get satisfaction repurposing an item you thought was now useless.